Rodolpho suggests that he was only “surprised” when punched by Eddie and not physically hurt. He is obviously hiding his true feelings; he is only being polite to Eddie because he is staying in his house. He might also not want to cause friction between Eddie and Beatrice. Catherine’s behaviour suggests to us that she is in love with Rodolpho and is getting tired of Eddie’s resistance towards their relationship. Moreover Beatrice seems to be trying to break the tension in this scene, when she tries to restrain Eddie in the sparring match with Rodolpho, she warns him ” that’s enough”. Another example of Eddie attacking Rodolpho, is when he makes a sarcastic remark about Rodolpho’s untypical male skills such as singing and cooking as ” Well its good, he could always make a living”.
The play is set in the living room of Eddie and Beatrice’s apartment. The stage directions say that the main acting area is the “living-room-dining-room of Eddie’s apartment and that it is a worker’s flat, clean, sparse and homely”. This setting is important because it gives the reader/audience an idea of where the action is happening. Other stage directions show us that Miller is trying to create dramatic tension. Rodolpho dances with Catherine right in front of Eddie to irritate him. As Eddie scrunches his newspaper up in disgust the audience can smell the friction between the two in the air.
Miller wants the audience to think that Marco is loyal and protective of his family. This is evident when he steps in to end the “sparring match” between Eddie and Rodolpho after his brother is punched The role of the family is one of the main topics to be addressed. This is particularly apparent when we see Eddie and Beatrice looking after their niece Catherine whose mother died when she was a baby.
Love is also an important theme in this scene because of the love triangle involving Catherine and Rodolpho who are in love with each other. Furthermore Eddie who is secretly in loves with Catherine. This is evident by the way Eddie prevents Catherine from having relationships with men. The role of men and women in this scene can be linked to the traditional roles of the sexes at the time. The play was set when men were expected to go out and earn money for the family whilst women stayed at home as housewives. All of the elements I have above make this scene dramatically powerful and tense. Miller may have wanted this because this would capture the audience. This scene is important because the feud between Rodolpho, Marco and Eddie matures into a vendetta.